Duke of Bedford Award

Duke of Bedford Award

The Tahr Foundation would like to announce the creation of a new trophy to be awarded at this year’s Sika Show.

The Trophy will be known as the New Zealand Tahr Foundation Duke of Bedford award in honour of the then Duke, Herbrand Arthur Russell who in 1904 graciously hand selected and presented the original tahr to New Zealand from his herd at Woburn Abby, Bedfordshire in England.

The primary focus of the Tahr Foundation in creating this new award is to encourage a more enlightened approach to the sport of trophy hunting.

With our currently reduced tahr population we want to see a shift to more emphasis on age when selecting a tahr trophy, consequently we have developed a new competition in which trophy tahr horns are scored for horn mass rather than just length of horn. The development of horn mass comes with age and an abundance of forage from a healthy environment.

Our primary objective has always been to have tahr managed under a proper game animal management regime, a Herd of Special Interest.

Such a management regime would produce the type of bull we all aspire to see in our mountains, this is the type of bull that will be rewarded under our new competition rules.

The competition is open to any bull 8 years of age and older.

In this first year the competition is open to any bull taken in the last two years from January 1st, 2020, thereafter it will be on a 12-month basis.

Horns are measured for length and girth at base, the length is then divided by 4 and girth is measured at each quarter, the total is the sum of all measurements.

Bulls with broken or broomed tips are not disadvantaged, a shorter tip will push the measurement at the quarters back into the thicker part of the horn, a bull of age will regain score by having a greater mass.

Please see our score card for the full rules and details of entry.

The tahr is a world class alpine game animal, we are both privileged and fortunate to have them and be able to hunt them here today over 100 years since they were introduced. We encourage hunters to respect both the tahr and the freedom we enjoy being able to hunt them, tahr are not feral goats to be treated as target practice. Shooting bulls without accessing them then measuring them on the ground is no longer acceptable.

A garage full of immature tahr heads does not represent a responsible attitude toward the resource. If we all spend more time observing tahr and less time pulling the trigger, then we have a better chance of holding onto the tahr and our ability to hunt them freely into the future.

The Tahr Foundation encourages anyone who has taken a big old trophy bull in last 2 years to come along and enter your trophy, entry fees are $30 per trophy and all proceeds go to Hunters for Conservation.